Calle Lanzarote

Jameos del Agua & Cueva de los Verdes

The tunnel at Jameos del Agua on LanzaroteLocated towards the North-East corner of the island, the Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes are two of the oldest „attractions“ on the island, having been opened to the public in 1966 and 1963 respectively.

The word “Jameos” means the hole created when a lava tunnel caves in, and both locations are situated in the same lava tunnel, on opposite sides of the LZ-1 road. The tunnel was not created during the 1730-1736 eruptions, but between 3000 and 5000 years earlier by lava from the volcano “de la Corona”.

At Jameos del Agua, water has filtered through the rock and created a unique underground lake where small white crabs live. Visitors walk down steps in the rock to enter the tunnel, before coming back up on the other side. At a second level, there is a pool of blue water in a white surrounding, know as the “King of Spain’s private pool”.  Behind this is a concert hall, opened in 1977, and with seating for 600 people.

The King of Spain's private pool at Jameos del Agua on LanzaroteOn the highest level there is an exhibition called “Casa de los Volcanes”, opened in 1992 and showing more details of the lava tunnel but also instruments used for measuring seismic activity.

Since visiting the Jameos del Agua is more than just seeing the pool of water in the tunnel, visitors should plan sufficient time and we took about 2½ hours to see everything.

Across the other side of the road, the Cueva de los Verdes has a somewhat misleading name. The only green things to see are the plants at the entrance and the guide’s uniform and the word “Verde” (green) refers to either a family that once owned them or someone who discovered them.

Cueva de los Verdes on LanzaroteHaving descended into the entrance of the cave, the guides form groups of about 50 people before starting their tours. The tours are held in three languages: Spanish, English and German, although the languages get rather mixed up. When we visited, the Spanish part of the tour was almost too fast for me to follow, and the German and English sentences often ran into each other, with our flustered guide changing language mid-sentence or even using words from one language in a sentence in the other.

The tour itself takes you through the tunnel on one level, returning on another. In total you walk about 1km, with parts of the tunnel only 1.40m high. At the further point, the auditorium, you are only 3km away from the volcano.

The tunnel, whilst interesting to visit, would benefit from single-language tours and smaller groups. Far too much of what the guide was saying was either too far away to hear properly, or incomprehensible – in any language. It was quite unnerving during the break in the auditorium to be told “in a few minutes we will come back” and wondering if the guide was going to leave us alone down there.  She was trying to tell us that we would be starting the walk back soon!

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